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Writing and Publishing

Social Media Content

For social media, I post an excerpt from my blog posts on social media, with a link pointing back to that post on my website.

Though social media platforms prefer you don’t do this, because they want to keep you on their site, I want to get people to my site. That’s what is most important to me. That’s why I tease the post on social media and send them to my site to read the full piece.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to repeat the whole post on social media, and it’s too time-consuming to write a new post just for social media.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

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Writing and Publishing

What Social Media Content Strategy Is Right for You?

Some writers post new material on social media. Others repeat content from their blog. I do neither. Here’s why.

Republishing the whole post isn’t a good idea because it repeats content, and search engines dismiss duplicate content. And I feel it’s too time-consuming and therefore not a good use of my time to write new material just for social media. 

My goal is to direct people from social media to my website, my home base, which I own and control. Therefore, I post an excerpt from my blog posts on social media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, with a link pointing back to the post on my website. I do so on Twitter, too, because their character limit necessitates brevity. 

Though social media platforms prefer you do not post links—because they want to keep visitors on their site—I want to get people to my site. That’s what’s most important to me. So I tease the post on social media and send people to my site to read the full piece.

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Writing and Publishing

Social Media Posts

With social media posts, I always want to direct people to my website, my home base, that I own and control.

This means posting a link on social media. I do that on Twitter (because there isn’t room for the full post) and on Facebook (because a link is all I have time for).

I do this on LinkedIn too, but I don’t see many other people doing that. Instead, they put their entire post on LinkedIn. But I don’t recommend that. Direct them to your website.

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Writing and Publishing

What Is Your Twitter Strategy? Discover How to Use Social Media

At one time, publishers would be impressed with your sheer number of Twitter followers (or Facebook likes), but now their focus is more on engagement. What is your Twitter strategy to build your author platform?

Are you interacting with your Twitter followers? Do you try to connect with them, and do they appreciate the value of your tweets?

Follow people who share your mindset and fit this perspective, and don’t worry about following back the folks who don’t.

And never buy followers. This accomplishes nothing positive and will cause you huge problems.

Don’t focus on your numbers of social media connections but on the quality of interaction with the connections you have. This is the ideal Twitter strategy.

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Writing and Publishing

UR Turn: Are You on Instagram?

Share photos and videos with friends on Instagram

In past months we’ve talked about a lot of social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest.  Another social media platform is Instagram, a place to share pictures and videos from your smartphone (and now computer).ur

As far as social media sites go, it’s still a kid, launched in 2010. (And bought by Facebook a couple of years later.)

It has a fresh, clean interface and is easy to use. It appeals to a younger demographic, with upwards of 800 million users worldwide. Many writers use Instagram to connect with their readers.

Are you on Instagram?

I am, but I’m a newbie. I post images and videos from my blog, along with book covers.

Maybe we can follow each other.

If you’re not on Instagram, check it out.

Here’s my Instagram page.

Please share your Instagram link below. Then we can follow each other.



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Business

Social Media: Opportunity or Distraction?

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

For some, the mere mention of social media produces a crooked smile and lights up their eyes. To them, it’s the preferred way to communicate; they would be lost without it.

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

Others groan and roll their eyes at the mention of social media. Some give it a resigned yawn, quickly tuning out the discussion or leaving the room. Still, others are desperately trying to figure it out, while some don’t understand the fuss, and more than a few simply don’t care.

What is all the fuss? Why should you care? The reality is that we should all care, because the future of your business may be at stake.

For businesses social media allows you to promote your business, reach out to prospects, connect with clients, and recruit and support staff. Regarding this, there are two major considerations.

First, if your competitor provides customer service via social media, can you afford not to?

Second, if the businesses that tap your labor pool use social media to find new hires, shouldn’t you do the same? These social media opportunities have been amply covered by others.

However, before rushing into social media, consider the time it will take and the personnel who will be involved.

Email: Email is both a prelude and an entry point to social media. Succinctly, everything you currently do with phone calls, you need to apply to email. Answer email, screen email, route email, add value to email, prioritize email, and escalate email.

Chat: Having the option to engage in text chat is an increasing expectation on consumer websites. You can do the same things with it that you currently do for the phone number that is listed there: answer questions, assist with site navigation, and keep visitors from abandoning their shopping cart.

Facebook: Making a Facebook page is easy. However, to be of use, relevant content needs to be posted and, more importantly, the people who “like” you deserve interaction. When customer service issues surface on Facebook, they need to be quickly addressed. Similarly, if an inquiry materializes, it warrants a speedy response—just be sure to follow social media etiquette; doing sales wrongly on social media can be a painful and damaging experience.

Blogging: Most blogs allow comments to be made, but to protect against spam, comments are often manually screened and approved. Additionally, a response to the comment is sometimes called for and a dialogue can take place, be it within the blog’s comment section or via email.

Twitter: Although Twitter is a broadcast medium, sometimes a tweet may warrant a personal response. Don’t forget to check your Twitter feed and then follow through.

Media Alerts: There are services that scan cyberspace for mentions of a word or phrase, such as a company’s name, a trademark, or an individual’s name. Although helpful, this information generally needs to be filtered. For example, one of the magazines that I publish is Connections Magazine. There are scores of magazines with “connections” in the title, so my media alert for “connections magazine” contains numerous false matches.

Other Ideas: These are just a few ideas. As you investigate social media, you will assuredly come up with more. Consider LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube.

If any of these seem worthwhile to you, then please check them out—otherwise, feel free to pass. Just don’t completely ignore social media—the future of your business may depend on it.

Final Thoughts: In pondering the question posed in this article’s title, social media is both an opportunity and a distraction. I’ve been on LinkedIn the longest, and I welcome those who want to become part of my network and occasionally send out similar requests to others, but I’ve yet to actually use it for something practical.

Next, after hearing horror stories of the time-consuming and even addictive nature of Facebook, I long resisted it, only acquiescing to it in the past year.

Though Facebook held an initial intrigue, the criticism of it being a time-waster quickly proved true. I haven’t “checked” Facebook in days; I now use it primarily to communicate with friends who won’t respond to an email or phone call.

In answering the question of who will perform all these backend and follow-up activities, know that many, if not all of them, can be outsourced.

For example, some contact centers specialize in providing email processing services and text chat services to their clients. Many of them can also address these other social media response issues as well.

Read more in Peter’s new book, Sticky Customer Service, to uncover helpful customer service tips, encouraging you to do better and celebrating what you do best.

Peter Lyle DeHaan is an entrepreneur and businessman who has managed, owned, and started multiple businesses over his carer. Recurring themes included customer service, sales and marketing, and leadership and management. He shares his lifetime of business experience and personal insghts through his books and posts.

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Writing and Publishing

What Are You Willing to Give Up So You Can Write?

Being a writer requires giving up other things, and making it a priority requires sacrifice

It’s been said that some people really don’t want to write, they want to have written. They want to see the results, without putting in the work. Yet writing requires effort and that effort necessitates that we prioritize the things we do.

It seems everyone I know is too busy. This includes writers. We struggle to find time to write. Yet by adjusting our priorities, we can make the time. What will you give up to get there?

If writing is important to you if having written is your goal, what will you sacrifice so you can write?

Television: I don’t know anyone who doesn’t watch TV. I try to keep my viewing habits in check, but I still spend too much time watching TV. Though this often happens late in the evening when I’m too tired to write, I also know that if I watched less TV I would have more time to write.

Social Media: The lure of social media distracts many writers from doing what they need to do. They sit down at their computer to write but decide to check Facebook first. An hour later they haven’t written a single word for their project, but they have read lots of updates and made a couple of posts themselves. Next, they slide over to Twitter or LinkedIn or Goodreads or Pinterest or whatever else beckons them. They never get around to writing. Scale back on social media to ramp up writing time.

Sleep: I’ve heard of many writers who give up sleep to find time to write. Personally I wouldn’t recommend it, because if I’m tired I have trouble writing or at least writing anything worthwhile. Yet I am disciplined to get up early in the morning and write when I could roll over and sleep for a few minutes longer.

Recreation: Another consideration is the things we do in our leisure time. Call this rest and relaxation. While taking time to rejuvenate ourselves is wise, too much recreation only serves as a distraction and offers no additional benefit.

Relationships: Another area is relationships. Since many writers are introverts and in some cases, recluses, be careful about giving up relationships that are meaningful and helpful. Yet some relationships aren’t beneficial. We may persist out of habit or guilt or obligation, but instead of adding to our life, these relationships suck the life from us.

It’s been said that we become a composite of the five people we spend the most time with. We need to make sure we’re spending time with the right people and avoid relationships that warrantless attention or no attention. This then becomes found time to write.

It’s wrong to assume we need to give up everything to write, but we do need to make some sacrifices or we’ll never have enough time to write. Even worse we may never even start.


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Writing and Publishing

RIP Google+

Google+ Shuts Down April 2, 2019

Google+ launched in June 2011, among much fanfare, to challenge other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Specifically, it was Google’s attempt to go head to head with Facebook.

Over the years, Google+ has gone through some changes and endured much criticism, while gaining a few loyal users.

I was on Google+, but I wondered why. I never did get it.

In 2018 Google announced it would shut down Google+ in 2019. No one seemed to care, and many said, “It’s about time.”

April 2, 2019, marks the end of Google+.

As for social media, I’m on enough other platforms to keep me busy: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Goodreads.

See you there, but not on Google+.


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Writing and Publishing

UR Turn: Are You on Goodreads?

Goodreads is the premier social media site for book lovers

In past months we’ve covered Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. One social media option is especially tailored to writers: Goodreads. “Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.” Goodreads turned ten this year. It has 55 million members, 1.5 billion books listed, and 50 million reviews. (I’ve posted 91 reviews and left 133 ratings.)

Goodreads is a great place for readers to connect and share their love for books. This also makes it ideal for the authors of those books. But don’t think of Goodreads as a place to promote books, instead view it as a place to connect with readers, and potential readers, of our books.

Right now I’m on Goodreads as a reader. If you’re on Goodreads, I’d like to connect with you. Here’s my link: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13489480-peter-dehaan. Send me a friend request.

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Writing and Publishing

UR Turn: Other Social Media Platforms for Writers

With no shortage of social media platforms to consider, several may warrant attention

So far we’ve talked about Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

But there are hundreds of other social media platforms to consider. While some platforms are obscure, others garner much more attention.

Though some of these social media outposts are worthy of consideration, my varying degrees of involvement on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest already takes up too much of my time. So, I’ll not add a fifth to the mix.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

Perhaps another social media platform works for you better or more effectively connects with your audience. Then maybe you should be there in place of one of the above options.

What other social media platforms do you use? What do you like about them?

Please include a link to your pages so others can find you there.